We finished up our last day of Spanish school today! Over the last week or so since our previous blog we’ve been occupied with school in the morning and different activities each afternoon.
Christine has been busy doing volunteer work at Common Hope (or Familiar de Esperanza as it’s called locally). It’s a well run organization based in Minnesota that has been doing lots of charity work in this area for 25+ years. The project is at a huge old coffee plantation on the outskirts of Antigua complete with medical and dental clinics, a workshop for making pre-fab houses, a nursery, library and lots more to assist the community. One afternoon Christine went with one of the many social workers on home visits to some of the families and hear how they were getting along. The families were very welcoming and proud of their modest and extremely basic homes. Some with no running water!
There were many families affected by alcohol abuse and violence besides being poor and trying to take care of their many children. Common Hope focuses on assisting the children with education and all that this entails; happy home, family, health,and safety. I obviously worked in the dental clinic and saw a lots of different people and did everything from extractions to cleanings and even a root canal! All the patients were so appreciative and grateful, making it an unforgettable experience.
Dave has also been a busy little beaver! He’s been getting the van all fixed up so that we can continue our journey without cringing every time we see a huge bump coming our way. Our suspension has been tested to the limit and it was in desperate need of some help, especially since our rubber bumper thingys fell off. We found a mechanic right down the street from us and took Ginger in on 2 different days. All went well but the true test will be when we drive her!
Dave also went to one of the many coffee plantations for a tour, which was reasonably interesting, and educational.
This week has also brought many new campers into our little patch of police compound, including a few other overlanders heading to Argentina or Chile.
For a few nights we had an English lad on a motorbike camped next to us. He had travelled up from Argentina and was headed to the USA to sell the bike before heading home. We’ve had a few hippies come and go, a Canadian girl in a hammock and a strange Italian guy that didn’t talk to anyone. There have also been a few really nice couples that we hope to keep in touch with and hopefully catch up with as we all head further South.
We are making the most of our last day in Antigua, Guatemala before heading to El Salvador tomorrow. Our good friends Denis and Renee are also heading off tomorrow, so we may tag along with them for a couple more days.
We have really enjoyed it here and being stationary for 2.5 weeks but the trip is far from over and it’s time to get going again.